CPUC President Responds To Critics Over Pipeline Investigation

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The president of the California Public Utilities Commission was widely criticized for appointing himself in charge of the penalty phase of the San Bruno pipeline explosion investigation, and now, CPUC President Michael Peevey said that he won’t be working alone on the probe.

In a joint statement Peevey and new commissioner Mike Florio write that they’ll work together as co-equals in the PG&E penalty phase investigation. However, Peninsula Assemblyman Jerry Hill said that as long as Peevey’s involved, the credibility will be in question.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“This is a smoke screen,” said Hill. “He’s still the assigned commissioner. It states very clearly in the press release that he is the assigned commissioner with that authority.”

Under Peevey’s leadership of the commission since 2003, federal and state reviews found a lack oversight of the utility industry.

Peevey sat down with KCBS to talk about PG&E the week after the deadly explosion.

“I can’t micro-manage the company and be standing with them next to their truck to make sure these things happen, but you would hope that the culture was such that safety was always number one,” said Peevey then.

PG&E could face millions of dollars in fines if its found to have violated state and federal safety rules tied to San Bruno.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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